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If you're new to this blog and want some context for it, read this post from the day I announced my Alzheimer's disease and this post about the day I announced I had lost it. For more info, visit my website with my autobiography and all blog entries in chronological order for easier reading to catch up. There's also a sermon on the spiritual lessons I've learned through this journey through my damaged mind.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Losing Confidence

Perhaps the worst thing about this disease at this point is losing my confidence in myself to be myself.  I remember in medical school that I was the guy who was never afraid to ask the stupid questions that other people, it turned out, didn’t understand, either, but were embarrassed to ask about.  If I didn’t understand it, I figured, some other people probably didn’t, either.  Throughout my life I’ve been able to admit freely that I didn’t know this or hadn’t done that or had forgotten to do this.  Other people would be almost relieved to find out that “even David Hilfiker” had the same sorts of weaknesses that they did.

But now that’s different.  As I was doing yoga this morning, Marja came in and mentioned that AARP had put an advertisement in the Post, indicating that at least AARP thought that only old people read the Post.  I didn’t understand at first what she was getting at and asked her to repeat herself.  She tried again and I still didn’t understand, but this time I didn’t say anything anymore because I wasn’t sure that it was “reasonable” for me not to understand.  It feels that I’m at the beginning of a process in which I’m losing confidence that I can act on my own intuitions and thoughts.  I probably shouldn’t stop yet asking the stupid questions, but at some point I’ll have to.  I’m afraid I won’t know when that point is.

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